INTRODUCTION / OPENING PARAGRAPH
Video games about aliens have been around since the early days of gaming. Go to a legacy arcade and we guarantee in the first two seconds of entering you’ll spot at least a dozen arcade cabinets about humans defeating aliens in some form or another. However, with titles like X-COM, this concept became more in depth and required more strategic thinking. The 2012 release of X-COM had players manipulate armed humans to take down aliens of various sizes all while really making players think about their next move unless they wished to lose a character permanently. X-COM was a truly amazing title and the newer releases added to that fun. However, maybe you’re like us here at Honey’s Anime and wanted to know what other games are like X-COM. Well lucky for you folks, we have created a list for you and we’ve titled it 6 Games Like X-COM.
Now in one part X-COM is a tactical turn based game as well as incorporating plenty of RPG-like mechanics in its gameplay. The concept of permadeath—or better known as lose-a-character-forever—didn’t start with X-COM but was a major concept in game. Players began to feel for their human soldiers who had names and personalities making a death hit home a little stronger. That’s why for our list we wanted to make sure that even if one of the games down below doesn’t mimic every concept of X-COM, at the end of the day they have similar ideals. We really think you’re going to love this list folks and that’s why we won’t keep you any longer. If you’re ready, just scroll on further down for our games like X-COM list to truly start.
Similar Games to X-COM
- System/Platform: PC
- Publisher: Goldhawk Interactive
- Developer: Goldhawk Interactive
- Release Date: Jun 17, 2014
Without warning on the first day of October something terrible happened, Earth was invaded. The world spread into panic thinking that we would all die as communication with the aliens proved to be a failure. Then suddenly a group of soldiers appeared and proved they had the means to fight back. These soldiers were titled Xenonauts and they showed they had the means of combating against the alien threat. Humanity would need to rely on the Xenonauts as if they failed it would mean humanity's extinction.
Let’s begin this list of games like X-COM with a title that is claimed by developers to be a re-imagining of the original 1994 X-COM. Xenonauts has players fighting aliens in similar manners to the current and old school X-COM titles but with some cooler concepts. During a mission maybe you take town a specific ship well then the next mission will be find that ship’s enemies. This gives players plenty of options to replay the game as a mission has branching pathways and events, always a good way to keep a game fresh even hours after playing. With all that being said, we here at Honey’s Anime agree with developer Goldhawk that their title has the heart of X-COM but is a truly new game in many ways.
2. There Came an Echo
- System/Platform: PC, PS4
- Publisher: Iridium Studios
- Developer: Iridium Studios
- Release Date: Feb 24, 2015
Corrin was just enjoying another boring day at work when he gets a strange phone call. A woman’s voice claims that he doesn’t have much time left, if he wants to survive he needs to move fast. This would just be the beginning nightmare for programmer Corrin, who would learn that the program he created had been used by some very scary people. Now on the run and having to align with complete strangers, Corrin has a very limited amount of choices. Corrin could run but that would probably mean his death or he could stand and fight against the unknown organization.
There Came an Echo may not involve aliens—or maybe it does—but the gameplay is very similar to X-COM. Players control Corrin alongside several other people—who just so happen to be voiced by some well-known voice actors such as Yuri Lowenthal and Laura Bailey—to fight against various forces. While very simple in RPG mechanics, the main draw of There Came an Echo is the cool way players can move Corrin and allies. Players can actually use microphones in real life to avoid having to use a controller or keyboard which is a very neat idea. Alongside truly impressive art and a very deep story, There Came an Echo we felt had to be on this impressive list of games like X-COM.
3. Expeditions: Conquistador
- System/Platform: PC, Windows Phone
- Publisher: BitComposer
- Developer: Logic Artists
- Release Date: May 30, 2013
Expeditions: Conquistador gives players the feeling of what it would have been like to travel the world as a legendary conquistador. Players are tasked with traveling the world in order to gain land, make money and explore the unexplored free world. Will you choose to live the historic life and make the same moves as the conquistadors did or will you alter history? With a mixture of turn based combat and plenty of ways to play, Expeditions: Conquistador aims to give players the chance at making their own histories. Success or failure, what awaits is up to you in Expeditions: Conquistador.
Let’s step away from lasers and aliens for a moment and look at Expeditions: Conquistador by developers Logic Artists. Expeditions: Conquistador really is a cool game and in many ways similar to X-COM thanks to a risk and reward gameplay mechanic. Players must use various in game tools such as diplomacy to gain money and resources to travel from location to location. As players venture into new and unexplored lands they obviously will face enemy tribes and unknown threats, and making the wrong decision means the player could face some grave consequences. However, that in lies the beauty of games like Expeditions: Conquistador and X-COM, risk may lead to failure or it may lead to that sweet victory all gamers love. That’s why despite the high difficulty we highly recommend checking out Expeditions: Conquistador as it’s still a lot of fun to play.
Expeditions: Conquistador Official Game Trailer (Official Trailer)
Any Games Like X-COM?
4. Advance Wars: Dual Strike
- System/Platform: Nintendo DS, Wii U Virtual Console
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Intelligent Systems
- Release Date: Jun 23, 2005
In Advance Wars: Dual Strike, players take control of lead protagonist Jake as they battle against various enemy forces. The Black Hole Army has begun to gain strength under new leadership. Commander Von Bolt has plans to take over the world’s energy giving him eternal life. Jake and the various forces of the Orange Star Army must stand alongside friend and foe alike if they wish to prevent the world’s destruction. The fight for tomorrow’s future begins now in Advance Wars: Dual Strike.
You have to love the Nintendo DS for games like Advance Wars: Dual Strike. Fans of the Advance War series once more return to the battlefield where they must make use of the various military powers to take down enemies. Akin to games like X-COM, players will find that there isn’t one way to play a mission but for maximum success players will need to learn the best way to handle an enemy force. If the enemy is using a tank going up against that with just troops will lead in your loss and thus critical thinking is needed in Advance Wars: Dual Strike. While Advance Wars: Dual Strike may not be as complex as X-COM titles, it still is filled with that great tactical like gameplay we all know and love.
Advance Wars: Dual Strike Nintendo DS Trailer-Trailer (Official Trailer)
5. Invisible, Inc.
- System/Platform: PC, PS4, iOS
- Publisher: Klei Entertainment
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Release Date: May 12, 2015
The year is 2074 and while technology and civilization have continued to advance so have the various threats humanity has to deal with. Luckily, the world has one means of stopping certain threats in the form of Invisible Inc. Privately owned and aligned with no one faction, their skills give them a fearsome power indeed in the current landscape. However, one day Invisible, Inc. is attacked by unknown forces decimating their team and leaving only you and an advanced AI alive. Though soon you learn your so called helpful AI has other goals in mind for how to save humanity and now you’re tasked with rebuilding Invisible, Inc. to somehow save the world from the biggest threat ever.
Invisible, Inc. has been called by fans and reviewers worldwide an X-COM-like game and we here at Honey’s Anime completely agree with that consensus. Players take control of an agent and must strategically move around maps with less emphasis on attacking like in X-COM but with more stealth. Also, like X-COM, players need to be careful of what moves they take as if an agent dies in the field and doesn’t get saved they will be dead for the rest of the game. What really makes Invisible, Inc. even cooler than the gameplay mechanics is the art style which is really unique to be sure. Invisible, Inc. has garnered a lot of praise from critics and it’s easy to see why.
Invisible, Inc. Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
6. Fire Emblem Awakening
- System/Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Intelligent Systems, Nintendo SPD
- Release Date: Apr 19, 2012
An amnesiac wakes up after a dream of being in a battle with unknown forces. Upon awakening he is met by Chrom and his small army known as the Shepherds. When the player’s character and Chrom face a battle together it is shown that the player is both a skilled warrior and an even better tactician. Chrom then decides to take the character into his army to hopefully provide much needed assistance. Little does Chrom or his army know, soon they will indeed need all the help they can get when strange forces begin to rise up in the land leading to battles that will test the warriors in the future battles to come.
Let’s end our list on a game series that needs little introduction—Fire Emblem—but specifically Fire Emblem Awakening. Players of X-COM need to realize that Fire Emblem Awakening isn’t obviously like X-COM in its theme but in its execution. In Fire Emblem Awakening you’ll lead your armies to victory by moving them across a grid like battlefield. Unlike previous titles of the Fire Emblem franchise, you can turn off permadeath to avoid losing a unit entirely but veterans of the series and those who like the challenges of X-COM will find keeping permadeath on is a much needed concept. Regardless of how you decide to play though, Fire Emblem Awakening is easily one of the best Fire Emblem games of the series. With tons of new improvements—such as team attacks and marrying characters together for new units—there’s no doubt that Fire Emblem Awakening deserves a spot on our 6 Games Like X-COM list.
Nintendo 3DS-Fire Emblem: Awakening Trailer (Official Trailer)
X-COM stands as one of those gaming titles that brings us so many different amazing elements. You’re fighting against aliens all while using tactical maneuvers and clever gameplay mechanics to win the day. Obviously with our list we didn’t focus on only games about aliens but we made sure to capture the reasons that made a game like X-COM so much fun. Strategic gaming won’t be disappearing anytime soon and we know as time advances it will only grow into an even more impressive genre. We here at Honey’s Anime would love to hear from you down below since we just did all the typing for our 6 Games Like X-COM list. Tell us what some of your favorite games like X-COM are and be sure to tell us what you thought of our list. Till next time folks make sure not to travel too far away, we here at Honey’s Anime are always creating new recommendation lists and you won’t want to miss a single one.